Islamabad: Pakistan on Thursday said its relations with the US, marked by "many ups and downs" this year, had reached a point where it had become necessary to "rewrite" the bilateral terms of engagement in order to bring ties on an even keel.

Referring to incidents like the gunning down of two Pakistani men by CIA contractor Raymond Davis in Lahore in January and last month's NATO air strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said a reappraisal of bilateral ties would help the two sides focus on realistic objectives.

"Pakistan-US relations have witnessed many ups and downs. From the Raymond Davis case to the November 26 US-NATO attacks on the two Pakistani posts at Salala, things have come to a point where it is necessary to rewrite our bilateral terms of engagement," Basit said.

"This will be good for both our countries as policies based on realistic and shared objectives would be far more tenable than a relationship facing frequent strains because of opaqueness and unilateral actions," he added.

 Pakistan wants its relations with the US to be based on "mutual respect, mutual trust and mutual interest", he said while recapitulating key developments in foreign policy during the year.

 Islamabad has struggled throughout the year to bring its relations with Washington back on an even keel following a string of crises, including strains caused by the US military raid that killed Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil.

Relations between Pakistan and the US, nominally key allies in the decade-old war on terror, teetered from one crisis to the next almost since the beginning of the year, prompting Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to order the framing of new "terms of engagement" for the US and NATO.

  Basit acknowledged the numerous problems affecting ties with the US but insisted that the two sides had not snapped contacts.

"We are on speaking terms with the US. Doubtless there are problems but we are trying to put our relations on a track that is transparent and in sync with our aspirations.

I am reluctant to discuss specifics, as the matter is with the Parliamentary Committee (on National Security)," he said.

 The parliamentary panel is currently framing recommendations for new terms of engagement with the US that will be debated by a joint session of the National Assembly and Senate.

(Agencies)